As Chief of the Shell Lake Police Department, I am dedicated to keeping our community safe. One of the most difficult parts of my job is seeing up close the devastating impact that crime has on innocent victims. Through no fault of their own, far too many innocent victims are thrown into the difficult legal system. I know that to keep Shell Lake and all of Wisconsin’s communities safe, we must strengthen the rights of these victims so that they know when they come forward to report a crime, someone will be in their corner.
This is why I’m proud to be a strong supporter of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, a bipartisan proposal that will help level the playing field in the courtroom for victims, whose statutory rights are too often trumped by the constitutional rights of the accused. Wisconsin crime victims are simply asking for rights equal to those of the accused—no more, no less. These victims didn’t ask to become the target of a criminal act, and are simply seeking to have their rights strengthened to be made equal to those that put them in the courtroom in the first place.
The huge bipartisan coalition in support of this legislation has grown over recent years to include over 350 law enforcement leaders, survivors, victim advocacy groups, and other stakeholders that have endorsed Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. I’m proud to be part of this strong and growing coalition.
Wisconsin legislators have already made great strides in the effort to strengthen the rights of crime victims. Last session, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin was approved by strong bipartisan vote of 110-14. As a Constitutional Amendment, the proposal has to pass the Legislature one more time before being put to voters in a statewide referendum. Earlier this year, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin was approved by Senate and Assembly committees after receiving a joint public hearing where a powerful array of voices from survivors and advocates to law enforcement and legal experts testified in favor of this bipartisan legislation.
I hope you’ll join me in calling for our state legislators to finish the job by passing Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin once more in the Senate and Assembly so that the people of Wisconsin can have their say on this Constitutional Amendment. Visit https://www.equalrightsforwi.com/message and tell them to support Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2. Wisconsin crime victims shouldn’t have to wait any longer for equal rights.
David M. Wilson, Chief of Police.